With Borussia Dortmund up 1-0 against Chelsea in the 63rd minute, there was activity on the bench. Mats Hummels and Marco Reus were warming up, but in the end head coach Edin Terzic didn’t bring either of them. A problematic situation, especially when it comes to captain Reus, whose contract expires in the summer.
Terzic, who has the same agent as Reus, was quick to downplay the fact that Reus didn’t come on in the last 30 minutes of what was a key feature for Dortmund. “It’s brutal; I’m sorry, of course,” Terzic said after the game. “But it’s not just about Marco. We also had other guys who weren’t brought forward. He has to respect him. But he didn’t accept it. He can show tomorrow in training and in the other games that he doesn’t accept it. But right now, he has to respect him like everyone else.”
After the game, Bild reported that Reus celebrated with the players in front of the great right stand Südtribüne – Dortmund – but quickly disappeared to the dressing room. Reus then also walked past journalists in the mixed zone without mentioning a private car.
Reus’ situation comes at a crucial time for Dortmund. When fit, Reus, of course, can still make a difference. But he no longer has the pace and agility to come forward in a tight game when Dortmund try to beat their opponents on the break, which is why Terzic opted to leave the captain on the bench against Chelsea.
However, that does not necessarily mean that Reus’ time at Dortmund will come to an end next summer. Both sides want to renew the expiring contract but not at any price.
“We know about the position of both players,” Terzic said on Friday when asked about Reus and Hummels. “We know they are important. We still have a lot of tasks ahead of us, and it is important that we can rely on all players, including Marco and Mats.”
Terzic would like to renew the contracts with both players, but because Translation mark reported Friday, unless they accept a reduced salary. According to the report, Dortmund would like to reduce Reus’ €12 million ($12.8 million) salary and make it more dependent on performance bonuses.
In fact, part of that salary would be used to put together a package that could entice Jude Bellingham, the captain against Chelsea, to stay at the club. Dortmund are trying to put together a €15 million ($16 million) season package to keep the England midfielder in Germany.
Whether Reus will accept a reduced salary and the position is another question entirely. As Stefan Bienkowski pointed out to Gegenpressing, Dortmund now have a number of players playing Reus’ position, and the club will also give Bellingham an increased role if he chooses to stay.
In other words, both sides have a bit of a conflict. Although they would like to continue their path together, it may not be in the best interests of either party. Dortmund want Reus’ salary and minutes for other players. Meanwhile, Reus wants to continue playing at a high level and maybe win another title or two before calling it quits.
It is now doubtful whether that will happen in Dortmund. The 33-year-old is certainly interested. One possible destination is Major League Soccer where Reus would only play for clubs based in Los Angeles, New York and Miami. A few Bundesliga teams and clubs from Italy have also shown interest. Either way, Reus’ situation is on the line, and for now, Terzic will have to lead a situation with kid gloves without jeopardizing Dortmund’s strong season.
Manuel Veth is the host of the Bundesliga Gegenpressing podcast and the USA Area Manager at Translation mark. He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, Pro Soccer USA, and many other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ManuelVeth